How you communicate to your voters makes all the difference. When people ask, “What do you plan to do for me?” or “How will you help?” you’ll need to have your answer ready. And your answer must be clear, concise, and powerful.
You decided to run for elected office because you’ve got a lot to offer to your community/school district/state. But you’ve only got a short time to capture and keep their attention.
Here are three ways to communicate your message to your voters and keep their attention.
1. Use Loud Non-Verbals
Your response will begin before you open your mouth. Your non-verbal language, i.e., the way you stand, the tone of your voice, must convey your confidence and sincerity. When facing a potential voter, appear accessible with an open body posture. Literally, open your arms, look into his or her eyes, and convey a pleasant, interested expression. Also, do your best to treat everyone with respect. From the poor to the wealthy, everyone you meet on the campaign trail deserves equal consideration.
2. Be Brief But Specific
Once the voter feels comfortable and ready to listen to you, communicate your messages. But ensure your message is short and easy to understand. Skilled communicators tend to speak less and listen more, anyway. Yet, despite aiming for brevity, don’t forsake clarity. Answer the voter’s question in a way that conveys your reason for wanting to help, and how you’re going to help. Use storytelling that emphasizes shared experiences and familiar places. Also consider using exaggerated hand gestures and facial expressions to clarify your points.
3. Follow up and Ask for the Opt in
After you communicate to the voter why and how you’re going to help, follow up with the individual. Promise to send the voter detailed information about his or her question and/or your overall platform. To continue the dialogue with him, jot down the voter’s email address and phone number (for text message alerts). You can do this via paper on a clipboard or collect the information into your database via a tablet. Before you depart, ask the voter to support your campaign financially or to volunteer. Finally, correspond with the voter within 24 hours. Tell him or her how much you enjoyed the conversation and include a link to your donation page.
In a nutshell, campaigns are similar to job interviews. Your voters want to know what you can do for THEM. Show them.
For more information on campaign communications strategy, message development, and storytelling using video, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.